Sweet Creek Falls

March 29, 2003

When Jeannie Schmidt, Joella Ewing and I scouted the trip the week before, it was pouring rain. We did see a herd of elk in a meadow on the Sweet Creek Falls Road. We were delighted that it was warm and sunny for the day of our hike. Since there was a long waiting list for the trip and so many of them had never seen Sweet Creek Falls, we increased the number of hikers. It worked out well as small groups strolled along the creek enjoying a variety of smells, bursting wildflowers and the sounds of the cascading falls.

We were fortunate to have Margaret Wiese along to help identify flowers. Margaret identified trillium, yellow violets, candy flower, fairy lantern, bleeding heart, salmonberry, skunk cabbage, and Solomon’s seal. She said this was the first time she had seen the delicate pink fawn lily that was so abundant along the trail.

Near the overlook of the falls, someone found a green tupperware container hidden in a tree. On the lid was the website www.geocaching.com. The directions inside asked us to take something out and leave something in return. We left a copy of our map from Bill Sullivan’s book plus a list of flowers. Back at home, I found the website and entered the zipcode of Mapleton (97453) and found this information about the geocach. “Sweet Creek Falls by Messenger, NafiGator and Justin (GC68E4) (Oregon) last found 3/22/2003” This is a game for GPS lovers who want to search out hidden caches. I haven’t figured out how to log in to let them know that our group found it without a GPS. It does make one wonder if this type of caching should be called trashing.

We ate lunch along the creek and at the picnic table in the parking lot. Next stop was Wagon Rood Trailhead where we hiked ½ mile for a view of Beaver Creek Falls. The trip officially ended back at the parking lot. Eight hikers decided to explore the short trail on the other side of the road that led to a different viewpoint of Sweet Creek Falls.

Hikers were: Wendy Clarke, Norma Etter, Maggie Gontrum, Mary Livingston, Patty MacAfee, Robert and Terri Mason, Colleen Milliman, Sheri Moody, Abe Mooney, Judy Newman, Carol Petty, Virginia Prouty, Barbara Sutherland, Sheila Ward, Margaret Wiese and co-leaders Janet Jacobsen and Jeanne Schmidt.

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